Wednesday, February 29, 2012

All That Jazz

Studying like crazy this week for Saturday's midterm in Ethics. Especially challenging after working all day. I love the online discussion debates. It is pretty funny when the first thing a peer asked before the start of week two class is, "Who is Patricia?" and I wave both hands in the air. I do debate well. Very Very well. I am also not afraid to rock the boat by asking challenging questions. I will miss those hallways come May 5th. Drexel has been a great journey with the finest and intelligent professors I have ever experienced in college and yes this is my third college in my lifetime thus far and probably will not be my last. I love education even with its stresses.

March 30th I will be taking classes all day on Saturdays for the accelerated classes. I will take another Addiction class at the Medical College 8a to 12p then drive up to the main campus to take a Biology class 1p to 5p. The Biology class I have been trying to get out of since day one at Drexel, because I was a science major 20 years ago and have completed classes in Microbiology, Anatomy, Biochemistry, so it is an insult to tell me I need a general biology class, because my other sciences were more than ten years ago. Let's get real. Has plant life changed? I worked in a lab for 20 years.

So as you can see, I am taking that unnecessary class (in my opinion) last. Thank God, I did not have to take any other classes other than my major.

Just let me get done, so I can relax while paying back thousands of dollars in Educational loans.

So, I am going to teach an eighth grade class in a charter school in South Philly on the dangers of Drugs and Alcohol. Time to be announced. Personally, I think the classes should start in first grade. I have had so many young patients doing hard drugs since the age of 12 and 13. No joke.

Actually, I am looking forward to the 1940 census records to come out, so I have more genealogy records to work on.

Inner Child

"It is through healing our inner child, our inner children, by grieving the wounds that we suffered, that we can change our behavior patterns and clear our emotional process. We can release the grief with its pent-up rage, shame, terror, and pain from those feeling places which exist within us."

"Because of our broken hearts, our emotional wounds, and our scrambled minds, our subconscious programming, what the disease of Codependence causes us to do is abandon ourselves. It causes the abandonment of self, the abandonment of our own inner child - and that inner child is the gateway to our channel to the Higher Self.

The one who betrayed us and abandoned and abused us the most was ourselves. That is how the emotional defense system that is Codependence works. The battle cry of Codependence is "I'll show you - I'll get me.""

"We need to rescue and nurture and Love our inner children - and STOP them from controlling our lives. STOP them from driving the bus! Children are not supposed to drive, they are not supposed to be in control.

And they are not supposed to be abused and abandoned. We have been doing it backwards. We abandoned and abused our inner children. Locked them in a dark place within us. And at the same time let the children drive the bus - let the children's wounds dictate our lives."

"It is necessary to own and honor the child who we were in order to Love the person we are. And the only way to do that is to own that child's experiences, honor that child's feelings, and release the emotional grief energy that we are still carrying around."

(Quotations in this color are from Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls by Robert Burney)

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Our Gang Part II

Monday, February 27, 2012


My brother with my son who was three years old.

A week or so ago, I mentioned I had a dream about my brother. He looked happy, was surrounded with a glow of light, and sat across the table from me, and told me everything would be alright. Today, my son (his godchild) told me he is having dreams of my brother. He told me the dream repeats itself. He is in a house with his uncle and his uncle had a glow around him. He took my son to the basement, where there were all these games. My brother was happy and he told my son to come with him. The next part of the dream, my son loses his way from the house and is frantically trying to find it and my brother. He said, he felt as though my brother wanted my son with him...But he kept getting lost.

I told my son to get on his knees and pray to him, as I have done myself.

My son was one month short of his 14th birthday when my brother died. Life for all of us changed that summer. I know how I felt and what my parents went through, but I never stopped to think how his death impacted my children who were 14, 15 and 19 years old. My brother was a wonderful uncle to them. He spent time getting down on the floor and playing with them. He was loving, caring and so kind. My boys knew how much their uncle loved them. Now, I wonder what message he is trying to give us.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

No Comment

I wish I could write what I really feel today, but this is not the place. Let's just say, my frustration level is at an all time high and my tolerance level is at an all time low. Therefore, I will take really good care of myself and do the things that make me feel good.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Baby Me

I was six months old and when I look at her, I think "wow", how did I become 52?


I have the most amazing friends. We had our Women's group today and we had a lot of fun and laughs. I am truly blessed to have such girls in my life. I started the group at my house in January. MaryAnne had it at her house today, and since I will be away in March, the next group will be at Adar's house in April. It is simple. We all bring a dish, eat, talk and laugh. Nothing is more powerful than a group of women together.

Just for Fun

Dad's Family

Friday, February 24, 2012

Boy Toy

Well, he finally picked up his new truck this evening. I call it his "Boy Toy" simply because he works with computers, so why a truck? We traded in the black car (2001) for a new black truck. Thank you Jesus, I have my Toyota, which is a great car. Now we have two car payments to go with the two monthly rents. We rent out one property and reside in another.


Since I will be in Italy for my final exam in Ethics, the professor agreed to let me take it early online. Tomorrow is class two of six. I will not be in class six. Hopefully, I will be in Amalfi where I am told you can roll out of bed and onto the beach. The grandpoles will be spending two babysitting nights with us, before I head off on the 20th of March. I look forward to their visit and for the grandpole due in the Fall (October 24th), his/her parents are very excited and frighten at the same time. My advise; relax relax relax and let nature do its work.

April 28th is the reunion and my girlfriends and I are renting a hotel room, as to not drive after the reunion. It is going to be great fun and I hope my brother can make it since he was part of the crowd.

Tomorrow after class is our second Women Supporting Women group to be held at my friend MaryAnne's house. I am sure it will be a blast as was the other one I had here.

So many positive things to look forward to and experience though I wish........I'm good. Getting better. Not reacting. I try to stay in the day, focus on what is in front of me and be grateful for my blessings.

On another note, it is not my fault if there are words spelled incorrectly. Spell check is not working and you all know I can't spell worth a damn.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

I Hate This Thing Called Addiction

I hate it even more when I receive a report that a former patient died as a result of it. When things like this occur, it makes me think about time and how much time we waste on things that just are not that deep. We can never get time back. Once it passes, it is gone and before we know it we have missed out on so much. I feel as though I lost an entire year, I survived. I existed. I did not live. I wanted 2012 to be better and to get as much out of each day as possible. I am beginning to do that and in the process, I am feeling joy once again not in the big things, but in the small things. Some things I doubt I will get back and what I am left with are memories, many happy memories. The smiles. The giggles. The voice. The personality. The pain is still there beneath my heart, but it has lessen. I snuggle and watch netflix kid movies with one young grandson. I watch as another grandson begins to pull away into independence, but still wants to cuddle as though he were a little boy. I am blessed to be given another grandchild due in the Fall. I will finally graduate. I began a Women Supporting Women's group which has turned into a day of fun and laughs. I helped get the 35th reunion of our teenage group together. I have a wonderful trip planned in less than a month. I have so much to be grateful for and though I had to make some tough decisions, I made them without fear and with conviction.

Time is something we never get back. I hope and pray that those whom I try to help on a daily basis begin to believe in themselves that time is precious and that they are worth it despite the stigma or the opinions of others who do not understand. To hold onto that tiny light at the end of that very dark tunnel because it is the hope that keeps one going forward. I receive phone calls at my office from prior patients who tell me they are doing well and are still sober. In my eyes, once a patient, always a patient. I see success stories. I also see the relapses or the deaths. I hate Addiction. It sucks the very soul out of one. Tonight, they are all in my thoughts and paryers.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

This and That

Teaching tonight, therefore I go into work later, however I still like to get up early, watch the sun rise, while I drink my coffee. This Saturday after class we have our "girls get together". I started a group called Women supporting Women and it is turning out to be fun. It is nice to get together once a month to share stories and laugh. Yesterday, work gave me a belated birthday party complete with balloon, cake and gift card. Actually, we have a birthday club at work and we celebrate birthdays in each month. Luke and I are February babies, so it was for both of us yesterday.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Italy Bound






March 20th to March 30th, my mother, sister and I are heading to Italy via stop in London. We will be going to Rome, Venice, Amalfi and Naples. The best surprise of all is that it is a graduation gift for me. As my mom said, "you have worked so hard and despite everything, you managed to take those last classes needed for graduation". Thanks Mom. FYI, last class ends May 5th..

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Frozen Girl Being Photograph by the Expert

While she takes a picture of God knows what while freezing her ass off.

Our Gang. Have a Look See.

Liberty State Park Overlooking New York City

Just imagine the many of thousands of immigrants who walked through this building with tears in their eyes and hope in their hearts, my ancestors among them.

The view every immigrant waited with anticipation while on their ships as when they saw this vision, they saw hope for a better tomorrow.

Ellis Island

View of the city.

Hi Bill!

Friday, February 17, 2012


Just heard that the 1940 census records will be out in a few weeks. Genealogy nuts like myself get all excited about census records and old cemeteries. We are an unique bunch and I just got a new camera just in time. Spring will be upon us and that equals research. With churches and schools closing left and right, it is going to get increasingly harder to get records, because it has been my experience that once a church shuts its doors, the records get sent somewhere else and that is what makes research so difficult. I am really glad I have been through St, John the Baptist records before they closed and just the other year, I went through St. Bridget's records and St. Bridget's is preparing to close.

For sometime now, I have been trying to get into Mt. Vernon cemetery, but discovered after they closed the cemetery, the records were sent to some lawyer in VA. Burial records are an important resource as they give next of kin, address where they resided and sometimes cause of death. Thank God, Laurel Hill has kept excellent records stored in a vault. I got a lot of information from those records.

There are still a few missing pieces to my family puzzle on both sides.

  • What happened to my great grandfather Lukus Wisloski?

  • Where is he interred?

  • Where were my great grandparents John & Ellen Boland living in the early 1920's?

  • What happened to Alexander Mervine's wife Maryanne after his death?

  • Why did my grandfather John Weleski change his name from Wisloski to Weleski between the birth of my father in 1933 and my uncle in 1945?

I hope I can find the answers to these questions, but if not I am sure I will enjoy the journey. I will continue to talk about places and people along the way, and add some therapeutic stuff in the mix along the way, but for now, I have a new class in Ethics to begin tomorrow. Oh and I am going to be a Mom Mom again in the Fall!

St Bridget's Classes 1968 & 1965

Inside Story

My morning ritual, journal and be sane. Not a complete sentence, but what the hell. Speaking of What the Hell, it is a good thing I checked my email yesterday for Drexel, because my new professor sent the class a message that three chapters of the book are to be read and three quizzes are to be completed, and email by Saturday's class. This is a first for me and God knows, I have taken many many many classes in my life. I have not even been to the first accelerated class, and quizzes are already due? I think this guy places an entire new meaning to accelerated and if you are like me, I generally do not read my Drexel email until the morning of, just to make sure the class was not cancelled. So I send my coworker, John a text message that reads, "So I read my email and find out my new class has me completing three quizzes by Saturday. Mind you, it is the first class and my text book sits on my desk at work, Nerd that I am, I think WTH let me take two tonight, and one tomorrow without reading one word b/c book is on desk. Chapter One I got 100%, Chapter Two I got 90%. How is that possible? I am the Poster Child for NERD. Naturally, NERD with a Mental Breakdown". John's response, "Perilously close to crossing over from nerd territory into profound dorkdom. Steady---Patty and you might want to have a stiff drink, just to be safe".

John follows the path of Jung's therapeutic approach. I follow Beck's CBT approach. John has a Psychology background. I have a Behavioral Health background. Then there is Sarah, the Social Worker who I spoke with last night about therapy, and approaches and she blew me out of the water by recommending, I call Judy Beck, daughter of Aaron beck who still practices over on City Line. Aaron Beck founded CBT. He is my hero, a word that makes the Jung John just cringe. Sarah was born and raised on the Main Line. I do not think her mother really understands the type of work Sarah does and meeting her just confirms it. Sarah went to boarding school in Switzerland, a Penn graduate, has a weekday nanny and a weekend nanny. While I was growing up playing soccer, she was playing cricket at the club. Both of us lived sheltered lives, however, very different sheltered lives. These are the coworkers who want to start a private practice and we will start that practice, if I do not escape and live in Florida.

I mentioned CBT several times in this post and I know I have spoken about it in the past on this site. I will briefly go over it again.

Cognitive Behavior Therapy
Developed by Dr. Aaron T. Beck, Cognitive Therapy (CT), or Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), is a form of psychotherapy in which the therapist and the client work together as a team to identify and solve problems. Therapists use the Cognitive Model to help clients overcome their difficulties by changing their thinking, behavior, and emotional responses.

A System of Psychotherapy
Cognitive therapy is a comprehensive system of psychotherapy, and treatment is based on an elaborated and empirically supported theory of psychopathology and personality. It has been found to be effective in more than 400 outcome studies for a myriad of psychiatric disorders, including depression, anxiety disorders, eating disorders, and substance abuse, among others, and it is currently being tested for personality disorders. It has also been demonstrated to be effective as an adjunctive treatment to medication for serious mental disorders such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Cognitive therapy has been extended to and studied for adolescents and children, couples, and families. Its efficacy has also been established in the treatment of certain medical disorders, such as irritable bowel syndrome, chronic fatigue syndrome, hypertension, fibromyalgia, post-myocardial infarction depression, noncardiac chest pain, cancer, diabetes, migraine, and other chronic pain disorders.

If you want to contact the Beck Institute for an appointment or if you are a therapist and want to learn more and attend Beck's work shops, below is the information.

Beck Institute for Cognitive Behavior Therapy
One Belmont Avenue, Suite 700Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004-1610
Phone: 610-664-3020

Thursday, February 16, 2012

A Little Bit of Heaven

Most mornings I wake up to beautiful sun rises that I can see from my bed. One of my favorite things to do is to sit in bed, drink my coffee, and watch a new day begin. Beginnings is such a powerful word and has its own meanings to different people. I am on a sabbatical this week, to rest, to think, to decide and despite what someone else may say, I know what is right for me. It is the destination that is the challenge. Writing is a creative outlet and I encourage everyone to do it because it brings awareness and peace. If you are lucky, it also brings direction.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Burnout Prevention Tips

  • Start the day with a relaxing ritual. Rather jumping out of bed as soon as you wake up, spend at least fifteen minutes meditating, writing in your journal, doing gentle stretches, or reading something that inspires you.

  • Adopt healthy eating, exercising, and sleeping habits. When you eat right, engage in regular physical activity, and get plenty of rest, you have the energy and resilience to deal with life’s hassles and demands.

  • Set boundaries. Don’t overextend yourself. Learn how to say “no” to requests on your time. If you find this difficult, remind yourself that saying “no” allows you to say “yes” to the things that you truly want to do.

  • Take a daily break from technology. Set a time each day when you completely disconnect. Put away your laptop, turn off your phone, and stop checking email.

  • Nourish your creative side. Creativity is a powerful antidote to burnout. Try something new, start a fun project, or resume a favorite hobby. Choose activities that have nothing to do with work.

  • Learn how to manage stress. When you’re on the road to burnout, you may feel helpless. But you have a lot more control over stress than you may think. Learning how to manage stress can help you regain your balance.

Simply Vs. Complicated

Several months ago, I made the decision to downsize and as a result, I live in a smaller place and own far less material things (exception shoes). My next downsize move is to trade in my Iphone for a regular cell phone. While others are upgrading, I am downgrading. I decided I did not need Facebook or the Internet on my phone. I do not want to be THAT connected to the world any longer. I am looking for simple not complicated.

I just completed an accelerated course on Forensics and with a 93 on the midterm and a 96 on the final, I knew my overall grade for the class would be an "A". I congratulated myself by ordering a small pocket size Olympus camera. I will be ready for the spring when I venture out to do genealogy research or go to California with my mother. In addition, Iphone = camera and when I give up the one, I need the other.

Saturday begins another six week accelerated class in Ethics. I have had ethics training in the past. However, if I am starting my own practice, I really need to understand ethics. Three of us are talking about starting a practice together. We are scouting out office space as I write this. We are also discussing whether or not we want to get involved with insurance or have a cash only practice. Then, there is that part of me that wants to relocate to Florida when I become 55yrs old. Whatever! Too much to think about today.

I want to add a few more tips on the site about preventive measures one can take to stop burnout dead in its track or at least lessen the impact. I will write about that in the next post.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Let's Talk About Burn Out, It's Not Stress Anymore

Statically speaking those in certain professions experience a higher rate of burnout in the first year of their career than others. Counseling is considered one of the leading professions that lead to burnout. Most of those in the therapeutic world will experience some form of burnout in the first year of work. When one is in school, they pound this concept into the student's brain, but until you actually go out and work in the field, one cannot comprehend its impact. Burnout can be avoided, if one recognizes the signs and practices self care. However, the sense of duty and caring that goes with this profession, somehow has us forget that it is "we" who must take care. It is another one of the many research topics, I have been working on while offline.

What is Burnout?
Burnout is a state of emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. It occurs when you feel overwhelmed and unable to meet constant demands. As the stress continues, you begin to lose the interest or motivation that led you to take on a certain role in the first place. Burnout reduces your productivity and saps your energy, leaving you feeling increasingly helpless, hopeless, cynical, and resentful. Eventually, you may feel like you have nothing more to give. Most of us have days when we feel bored, overloaded, or unappreciated; when the dozen balls we keep in the air aren’t noticed, let alone rewarded; when dragging ourselves out of bed requires the determination of Hercules. If you feel like this most of the time, however, you may be flirting with burnout.

The difference between stress and burnout
Burnout may be the result of unrelenting stress, but it isn’t the same as too much stress. Stress, by and large, involves too much: too many pressures that demand too much of you physically and psychologically. Stressed people can still imagine, though, that if they can just get everything under control, they’ll feel better.

Burnout, on the other hand, is about not enough. Being burned out means feeling empty, devoid of motivation, and beyond caring. People experiencing burnout often don’t see any hope of positive change in their situations. If excessive stress is like drowning in responsibilities, burnout is being all dried up. One other difference between stress and burnout: While you’re usually aware of being under a lot of stress, you don’t always notice burnout when it happens.

Work-related causes of burnout
Feeling like you have little or no control over your work
Lack of recognition or rewards for good work
Unclear or overly demanding job expectations
Doing work that’s monotonous or unchallenged
Working in a chaotic or high-pressure environment

Lifestyle causes of burnout
Working too much, without enough time for relaxing and socializing
Being expected to be too many things to too many people
Taking on too many responsibilities, without enough help from others
Not getting enough sleep
Lack of close, supportive relationships

Personality traits can contribute to burnout
Perfectionist tendencies; nothing is ever good enough
Pessimistic view of yourself and the world
The need to be in control; reluctance to delegate to others
High-achieving, Type A personality

When I read the three above, I think I could be the Poster Child for Burnout. In additional to the above, there are physical, emotional and behavioral signs that you are in that stage known as Burnout.

Physical signs and symptoms of burnout
Feeling tired and drained most of the time
Lowered immunity, feeling sick a lot
Frequent headaches, back pain, muscle aches
Change in appetite or sleep habits

Emotional signs and symptoms of burnout
Sense of failure and self-doubt
Feeling helpless, trapped, and defeated
Detachment, feeling alone in the world
Loss of motivation
Increasingly cynical and negative outlook
Decreased satisfaction and sense of accomplishment

Behavioral signs and symptoms of burnout
Withdrawing from responsibilities
Isolating yourself from others
Procrastinating, taking longer to get things done
Using food, drugs, or alcohol to cope
Taking out your frustrations on others
Skipping work or coming in late and leaving early

So if one finds themselves in Burnout, the next section is a "must" if one is to climb their way out.

Burnout recovery strategy #1: Slow down
When you’ve reached the end stage of burnout, adjusting your attitude or looking after your health isn’t going to solve the problem. You need to force yourself to slow down or take a break. Cut back whatever commitments and activities you can. Give yourself time to rest, reflect, and heal.

Burnout recovery strategy #2: Get support
When you’re burned out, the natural tendency is to protect what little energy you have left by isolating yourself. But your friends and family are more important than ever during difficult times. Turn to your loved ones for support. Simply sharing your feelings with another person can relieve some of the burden.

Burnout recovery strategy #3: Reevaluate your goals and priorities
Burnout is an undeniable sign that something important in your life is not working. Take time to think about your hopes, goals, and dreams. Are you neglecting something that is truly important to you? Burnout can be an opportunity to rediscover what really makes you happy and to change course accordingly.

And though it is not a strategy, acknowledgment of loss is very important. Someone told me once that one should feel their sadness and surrender to it in order to move forward. I know that I am not alone in the fact that I would address sadness by throwing myself into something else such as work to avoid the pain that comes with sadness. Really? Who wants to feel the pain of loss? Problem is one must feel the pain in order to get through it. Over-Thinkers and Over-Achievers try too hard to work through a problem. Intelligence is great, but at the same time, it is not so great. Someone told me once that "I" try too hard and do not know how to "Let go". So guess what I decided to do? I began trying really hard to let go. Contradiction or what? Writing that last sentence made me smile. Anyway, there is one more piece to address in burnout and guess what it is?

Recovering from burnout: Acknowledge your losses
Burnout brings with it many losses, which can often go unrecognized. Unrecognized losses trap a lot of your energy. It takes a tremendous amount of emotional control to keep yourself from feeling the pain of these losses. When you recognize these losses and allow yourself to grieve them, you release that trapped energy and open yourself to healing.

  • Loss of the idealism or dream with which you entered your career
    Loss of the role or identity that originally came with your job
    Loss of physical and emotional energy
    Loss of friends, fun, and sense of community
    Loss of esteem, self-worth, and sense of control and mastery
    Loss of joy, meaning and purpose that make work – and life – worthwhile

Monday, February 13, 2012


I had a dream last night about my deceased brother. Artie died in 1997 and was five years my junior. In the dream, he was sitting across from me at a table with his hands folded on the table. There was a mysterious light surrounding him and I could see his face clearly as it was bright and happy. He was reassuring me about something. However, I do not remember the words spoken. I remember the light and his face.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Courage to Change with alittle Hope for Today

I am a firm believer in daily readers. I believe they can help ground a person, therefore I read them each morning and every afternoon share those same readings with my own patients. There is one reading I would like to paraphrase, but before I do that I want to tell you I am currently researching a new treatment modality I learned about yesterday known as "cinema therapy". It is a therapy used to treat mental health issues such as depression, anxiety and many more. There are a list of films recommended under each diagnosis that one should watch to change one's mood. When I get more information, I will share it.

Courage to Change/Hope for Today
The roles one played for a long time in families were those of caretaking and fixer. It was the nurturing parent, caring sibling, responsible grandparent. One felt as if it were their responsibility to care for everyone's emotional and physical needs. It kept one on constant guard lest something awful should happen. As time went by and events occurred, it became clear that one's true responsibility was to care for one's self. Caretaking and controlling actually hurt others, cheating them out of an opportunity to learn and grow. Time to detach with love. Detaching does not mean abandoning. It simply means minding one's own business, take action for what one needs and recognize there is not always answers or solutions. It is not easy for others to accept the changes one makes and is often met with opposition though the main need is self preservation. Without self preservation, one falls by the wayside, becomes sick in heart and soul and is no good to anyone anyway.

As for myself and my own self preservation, I use creativity. Creativity is a powerful tool to celebrate who I am. It is a spiritual energy that nourishes vitality. It is a way to replace negative thinking with positive action. Creativity for me is writing, researching and learning. I came across two sayings that sums up my thoughts.

"The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak". (Hans Hofmann)

"Do what you can, with what you have, where you are". (Theodore Roosevelt)

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Saint Marie-Bernarde Soubirous 1847 to 1875

A while back, I researched this particular saint because I was amazed at the condition of her body when it was exhumed thirty something odd years after her burial. When she died, she was thirty five years old and cause of death was Tuberculosis of the knee bone, a very painful condition. As most catholics know, St Bernadette was the young girl who saw the Blessed Mother at Lourdes in France. I wanted to add some information, which impressed me about the state of her body as spoken and reported by those who exhumed her body not once, but three times before placing her in what is now a shrine, her final resting place.

Bishop Gauthey of Nevers and the Church exhumed the body of Bernadette Soubirous on 22 September 1909, in the presence of representatives appointed by the postulates of the cause, two doctors, and a sister of the community. They claimed that although the cross in her hand and the rosary had both oxidized, her body appeared "incorrupt" — preserved from decomposition. This was cited as one of the miracles to support her canonization. They washed and reclothed her body before burial in a new double casket. The Church exhumed the corpse a second time on 3 April 1919. A doctor who examined the body noted, "The body is practically mummified, covered with patches of mildew and quite a notable layer of salts, which appear to be calcium salts. ... The skin has disappeared in some places, but it is still present on most parts of the body." In 1925, the church exhumed the body for a third time. They took relics, which were sent to Rome. A precise imprint of the face was molded so that the firm of Pierre Imans in Paris could make a wax mask based on the imprints and on some genuine photos. This was common practice for relics in France, as it was feared that the blackish tinge to the face and the sunken eyes and nose would make an unpleasant impression on the public. Imprints of the hands were also taken for the presentation of the body and the making of wax casts. The remains were then placed in a gold and crystal reliquary in the Chapel of Saint Bernadette at the mother house in Nevers. The site is visited by many pilgrims and the body of Saint Bernadette is still shown despite being nearly 130 years old. Wax coverings on the body of Saint Bernadette represent how her hands and face looked at the time of her death.

Three years later in 1928, Doctor Comte published a report on the exhumation of Blessed Bernadette in the second issue of the Bulletin de I'Association medicale de Notre-Dame de Lourdes.
"I would have liked to open the left side of the thorax to take the ribs as relics and then remove the heart which I am certain must have survived. However, as the trunk was slightly supported on the left arm, it would have been rather difficult to try and get at the heart without doing too much noticeable damage. As the Mother Superior had expressed a desire for the Saint's heart to be kept together with the whole body, and as Monsignor the Bishop did not insist, I gave up the idea of opening the left-hand side of the thorax and contented myself with removing the two right ribs which were more accessible." "What struck me during this examination, of course, was the state of perfect preservation of the skeleton, the fibrous tissues of the muscles (still supple and firm), of the ligaments, and of the skin, and above all the totally unexpected state of the liver after 46 years. One would have thought that this organ, which is basically soft and inclined to crumble, would have decomposed very rapidly or would have hardened to a chalky consistency. Yet, when it was cut it was soft and almost normal in consistency. I pointed this out to those present, remarking that this did not seem to be a natural phenomenon."

Evening View

Sunday, February 05, 2012

The Classes of 1949

Marlene McKiernan is located in the first row fourth one on the left. This was my mother's friend and my mother-in-law. Another beauty in the 7th grade.

Uncle Gene is located in the fourth row up, first one on the right. His name is Colum Eugene Gallagher and he is handsome in the sixth grade. He is my mother's brother.

My mother is located in the third row, dead center (7th in from the left). Mary Louise Gallagher
a beauty in the fifth grade.